How to play PS2 games from USB elf

Written by jeff grundy Google
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How to play PS2 games from USB elf
(Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

If you ever wished for a way to play backup copies of your PS2 games or run games from a USB flash drive on the PlayStation 2, you might have heard that you have to mod or flash the unit's firmware to do so. Running PS2 games from a backup CD/DVD or from a USB drive is an excellent idea because it lengthens the usable life of the console by preventing wear and tear on the PS2 optical drive's laser lens. However, modding the PS2 firmware requires a lot of work and can void your Sony warranty for the console. A set of home brew applications known as USB Elf, though, makes playing PS2 games from a disc backup or USB drive a relatively simple process without modding the firmware or voiding your warranty.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Swap Magic CD
  • USB flash drive
  • Blank CD disc
  • PC with CD/DVD burner drive

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Download the "USB Elf" installation package utilities (See Resources). Save the ".ZIP" file to a folder on your computer.

  2. 2

    Right-click on the download file, then click "Extract Here" on the pop-up menu. Delete the ".ZIP" file after Windows extracts all the compressed files to the folder.

  3. 3

    Launch your CD/DVD burning application, then burn all of the extracted "USB Elf" utility files to a blank CD. Remove the burnt CD from the optical drive, then insert the PS2 game disc you want to copy and run from the USB drive.

  4. 4

    Connect the USB flash drive to your PC, then wait for Windows to initialise the drive and configure it for use on your computer.

  5. 5

    Click the "USBExtreme" file in the folder where you saved the "USB Elf" utilities. Wait for the "USB Extreme Game Installer" window to appear.

  6. 6

    Click and select the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive in the "CD/DVD ROM Drive" drop-down box. Choose the type of media disc used for the PS2 game disc (CD or DVD) in the "Media Type" drop-down box. Click and select the drive letter for the USB flash drive in the "Hard Drive" drop-down list. Finally, enter the full name of the PS2 game in the "Game Name" field, then click the "Start" button.

  7. 7

    Click the "Yes" button, when prompted to start the install of the PS2 game to the USB drive. Wait for the process to finish, then repeat to copy additional PS2 game discs to the USB flash drive as needed. Close the "USB Extreme Game Installer" window when you finish installing PS2 games to the USB drive.

  8. 8

    Turn on the PS2, then insert the "Swap Magic" CD. After the "Swap Magic" menu appears, remove the CD. Insert the CD you burnt earlier and close the PS2 disc tray.

  9. 9

    Wait for the "USB Elf/Extreme" menu to appear on the screen, then connect the flash drive to a USB port on the PS2. Wait for the copied game names to appear on the screen, then scroll to the game you want to play. Click the "X" button on the controller to launch and play the game from the USB flash drive.

Tips and warnings

  • You must purchase the "Swap Magic" CD. Burned copies of the application will not work on the PS2.

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